DALLAS - A fresh, new NBA season is upon us. The Dallas Mavericks tip off the 2021-22 season with four preseason games, starting with a Wednesday AAC matchup against the Utah Jazz and two-time All-Star Donovan Mitchell. New Mavs head coach Jason Kidd will make his debut at home in a game that serves as a Christmas Day preview between two up-and-coming playoff teams.
While two-time All-Star Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis provided plenty of optimism for the upcoming season in Sunday's scrimmage, expect Dallas to be cautious with their stars throughout the preseason slate. Doncic and Porzingis will play the first half vs. Utah, per the plan, and all of their minutes will be with each other.
Last season started a bit sooner than Doncic had expected and the Slovenian star was admittedly not quite in game-ready shape. Fresh off an Olympic run with Slovenia, Doncic will not have that problem this season.
NEW FACES: Not only does the game mark the start of Kidd's regime, it also serves as the beginning for new general manager and former Nike executive Nico Harrison in the front office. Watch for Reggie Bullock, Moses Brown and Sterling Brown, the Mavs’ offseason acquisitions who will be on the court tonight.
INJURY REPORT: For Dallas; Dorian Finney-Smith (rest), Frank Ntilikina (rest), Dwight Powell (rest) and Tyrell Terry (not with team) will be out.
For Utah; Rudy Gay (heel) and Bojan Bogdanovic (shoulder) will be out.
FLASHBACK: Last season, the Mavs finished fifth in the Western Conference with a 42-30 record before losing in the first round of the playoffs to the Los Angeles Clippers.
RECORDS: DALLAS MAVERICKS (0-0) VS. UTAH JAZZ (0-0)
New Start: Dennis Smith Jr. Makes Roster
“I was happy that he was able to have the opportunity to show what he’s been doing,” said coach Chauncey Billups of Smith Jr.,
Mavs Moves on Justin Jackson & Tyrell Terry
Back in the Mavs family fold is Justin Jackson. No longer with the club is Tyrell Terry.
LISTEN: Kidd's Mavs Makeover; KP Bounce-Back Year?
On this episode of the Mavs Step Back Podcast: Why Kidd make the same mistakes he made as a head coach in Milwaukee and Brooklyn, Kristaps Porzingis looking much better both physically and psychologically, and much more!
ODDS: The Mavs are 2.5-point underdogs to the Jazz on FanDuel.
WHEN: Wednesday, Oct. 6 at 7:30 p.m
LOCATION: American Airlines Center (Dallas, TX)
TV/RADIO: BSSW / NBA TV, 97.1 The Eagle (KEGL)
NEXT: Mavs host the Clippers on Oct. 8 at 7:30 p.m. CT. Dallas continues its four-game preseason slate against the Charlotte Hornets on Oct. 13 at 5:30 p.m. CT. The preseason concludes on the road on Oct. 15 when the Mavericks face the reigning NBA champion Milwaukee Bucks at 7 p.m. CT.
FINAL WORD: Porzingis is starting the season healthy for the first time since 2017. Teammate Tim Hardaway Jr. has noticed a change in the 7-foot-3 star:
“The guy is ready to go. I have not seen a more focused KP in all the time here. He wants to get back to that all-star season before the ACL injury. And he really wants to do what he can to not only make himself happy, but make the city happy and let them know that it wasn’t a wrong decision or whatever people think."